Emmaüs Connect, an association of the Emmaüs movement which fights against the digital exclusion of the most vulnerable, is launching an unprecedented platform for the collection, repackaging and solidarity-based distribution of digital equipment. Marie Cohen-Skalli, the director of the association launches, on franceinfo Tuesday, April 20, a call to companies.
“We have three missions. The first is to equip, because a smartphone still costs a quarter of RSA, 19% of French people do not have a smartphone, 21% do not have a computer. Eight million people do not have any equipment due to lack of means to equip themselves, explains Marie Cohen-Skalli. The second mission is to connect, because unbanked people with very low incomes or who do not have a domiciliation, cannot have access to traditional telephone plans. The third mission is to support basic digital skills, because 17% of French people are in a situation of illectronism “.
According to the director of Emmaus Connect, the confinement “brought to light” this digital divide : “It is even deeper. In 2019, we could still get by without digital technology, in 2020 it suddenly became completely impossible and it created a digital but also a social divide.”
On its new site, Emmaüs Connect calls companies “to mobilize massively because eight million people to equip is a lot. We need flow and it’s easier to go through companies than individuals, says Marie Cohen-Skalli. We know that 39% of companies are in the process of renewing their computer parks to meet the needs of teleworking. “
There are two million pieces of computer equipment lying dormant in company cupboards. If we could collect them, we could act massively.Marie Cohen-Skalli, from Emmaus Connect
For volunteer bosses, the approach is, according to the director of Emmaus Connect, “very simple: the company contacts us, we recover the material, it’s free of charge, there are all guarantees of traceability and erasure of data”. The reconditioning of the equipment is carried out by “professional teams, integration structures, which will create jobs through this activity. These teams are specialized and that is why they can guarantee a completely secure chain”, says Marie Cohen-Skalli.